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Home   About   Events & Projects   Thinking about the Future   Reading about the Future   Blog   Join AAM June. 10, 2010


A call to action!
Center for the Future of Museums    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What's next after the release of AAM's report on Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums? Read AAM's Call to Action on the CFM Blog (and while you're there, ponder the potential of food trucks as museum advocates).

Exercise and Science Headlines

US charitable giving falls 3.6 percent in 2009 to $303.75 billion
Giving USA Foundation    Share    Share on
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Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, announced recently that estimated total charitable contributions from American individuals, corporations and foundations fell to $303.75 billion in 2009, down from a revised total of $315.08 billion for 2008. The 2009 drop represents a fall of 3.6 percent in current dollars. In 2009 the overall economy saw slight price deflation, which makes the adjusted change in giving year-over-year a decline of 3.2 percent. More

1,600 Paintings on 1 Screen? No problem

The new FireSign Gallery application lets you create an interactive exhibit for priceless paintings, manuscripts, sculptures and more. With FireSign's do-it-yourself interface, you can add new images and text as your collections grow, or you can create entirely new galleries for temporary and traveling exhibits.

Profile of a leisure traveler
Hotel News Now    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The American traveler took an average of four trips during the past 12 months, spending more than $3,500 on leisure travel services, according to results from the new Portrait of American Travelers survey released recently. The survey, which was conducted by Ypartnership and Harrison Group and polled 2,254 United States households during February 2010, projected good things ahead for the country's leisure market. A slightly higher percentage of travelers (16 percent) plan to take more trips during 2010 than do those who plan to take fewer trips (14 percent). More

'Mass mingling' brings consumers closer together
Marketing Charts    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Consumers are using social network-aided "mass mingling" to come closer together, both online and in the real world, according to consumer insights firm Despite stereotypes of online media creating isolation for its users, research finds hundreds of millions of people globally are living large parts of their lives online. Social media users are actively searching for, finding, connecting/signaling, and staying in touch with like-minded people in the virtual world. In addition, constant updates, GPS and mobile online access is now bringing online dating, networking, socializing and mingling to the "real world" domain. More

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Public transportation ridership weathers slow economy, tight budgets
SmartPlanet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In times of economic distress, public transportation systems suffer in two ways — ridership declines because fewer people are commuting to work, and subsidies from cash-strapped municipalities and transit agencies shrink. However, despite the difficult economy, ridership on the nation's mass transit systems remained relatively steady, with some cities even seeing significant jumps in ridership. More

Sweet land of ... conformity?
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans like to see themselves as rugged individualists, a nation defined by the idea that people should set their own course through life. Think of Clint Eastwood rendering justice, rule-bound superiors be damned. Think of Frank Sinatra singing "My Way." But are Americans really so uniquely individualistic? Are we, for example, more committed individualists than people in those socialist-looking nations of Europe? The answer appears to be no. More

Marrying Out
Pew Research Center    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A record 14.6 percent of all new marriages in the United States in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from each other, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That figure is an estimated six times the intermarriage rate among newlyweds in 1960 and more than double the rate in 1980. More

More Americans sense a downside to an always plugged-in existence
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While most Americans say devices like smartphones, cellphones and personal computers have made their lives better and their jobs easier, some say they have been intrusive, increased their levels of stress and made it difficult to concentrate, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. More


Tough times ahead for children of the great recession
Education Week (free registration required)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More children will live in poverty this year. More will have two parents who are unemployed. Fewer children will enroll in prekindergarten programs, and fewer teenagers will find jobs. More children are likely to commit suicide, be overweight, and be victimized by crime. This is all according to a report released by the Foundation for Child Development that measures the impact of the recession on the current generation. More

The future of America's working class
New Geography    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Watford, England, sits at the end of a spur on the London tube's Metropolitan line, a somewhat dreary city of some 80,000 rising amid the pleasant green Hertfordshire countryside. Although not utterly destitute like parts of south or east London, its shabby High Street reflects a now-diminished British dream of class mobility. It also stands as a potential warning to the U.S., where working-class, blue-collar white Americans have been among the biggest losers in the country's deep, persistent recession. More
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Spurring innovation through education: Four ideas
Brookings Institution    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 1960, the United States led the world in the number of students who graduated from high school. Today young adults in many countries, including Estonia and Korea, exceed their U.S. counterparts in education attainment. Although education has far too many moving parts to be dramatically reformed by any short list of simple actions, we can start with changes that are straightforward, ripe for action and most promising, based on research and past experience. ♦ Recommendations and predictions from Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst, former head of the federal Institute of Education Sciences. More

9 ways to prepare for jobs of the future
More    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
It might be hard to believe in the midst of this recession, but once the economy stabilizes, we will likely be moving from a job crisis to a talent shortage. A new research report sponsored by Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation predicts that in less than 10 years, there will be more jobs than people to fill them. And nearly half of them — roughly 2.4 million — will be in social sector jobs. More

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They aren't retiring — And they aren't looking for retirement living options
MediaPost    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While we knew that boomer women aren't contemplating anything traditionally identified as "retirement," we were surprised to learn something important about their thoughts about single homeownership: They aren't going anywhere. In our recent survey, only a third of the boomer women we questioned said they plan to move to a new home in the next 10 years. More

1 in 4 Americans plan to travel less this summer
Gallup    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When asked about their summer travel plans — including vacations and weekend trips — in a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, 27 percent of Americans say they will travel less this year than last while 18 percent say they will travel more. Another 37 percent say they will travel the same amount, and 18 percent say they don't travel much. These travel intentions appear to be highly influenced by consumers' economic confidence. More

The future of snacking
futurethink    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefFuturist Lisa Bodell writes, "I recently led a trends panel at the largest candy and snack show in the country, the 2010 Sweets & Snacks Expo, where more than 2,000 new confectionery and snack products were launched. With so many options coming on the market, my panel of three trend experts — a CPG research guru, a futurist, and a 'mommy-blogger' — convened to discuss which types of products, trends, and other driving forces they think will drive 'snacking' in the near future." ♦ Like many museums, the snack industry is striving to individual the user experience. More


Online survey to help county residents think about area's future
WQOW (Eau Claire, Wis.)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Chippewa Valley Museum is working with community partners to develop a community cultural plan for Eau Claire County, Wis. When it's done, this plan will be a tool for local government, funders, and cultural organizations as they make decisions and set directions. The project, called The Good Life, received national funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Good Life is looking at where Eau Claire County residents think it is now, what it might be like in the future and what can be done to get it there. More

Add visitors' stories to exhibits

Then build social media connections to Facebook, YouTube and email through visitors' own stories and observations.

Did a lunar art caper put the first museum on the moon in 1969?
Popular Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It turns out that the astronomical fame achieved by such popular modern artists as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and Robert Rauschenberg might not be strictly hyperbolic. An interesting story picked up by USA Today suggests six popular '60s artists may have snuck a tiny catalog of their work on board the Apollo 12 lunar lander, which still rests on the surface of the moon. If it's indeed there, it's the first permanent art collection in space; how very avant-garde. More

Venerable British Museum enlists in the Wikipedia revolution
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The British Museum has begun an unusual collaboration with Wikipedia, the online, volunteer-written encyclopedia, to help ensure that the museum's expertise and notable artifacts are reflected in that digital reference's pages. About 40 Wikipedia contributors in the London area spent a day with a "backstage pass" to the museum, meeting with curators and taking photographs of the collection. More

Tribal nations and museums working in partnership
Indian Country Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Throughout the history of Euro-American contact with indigenous peoples in North America, the interests of anthropologists, museums, and American Indians have often conflicted. For example, under the authority of recent federal laws, tribal governments and Indian communities are seeking the repatriation of many objects held by museums and anthropologists, who have often been held in low-esteem in Indian communities for well-deserved reasons. A conference last month in Philadelphia illuminated some of the ways that tribal and Indian interests can benefit from a new openness on the part of archives and museums, and demonstrated how modern-day Indian societies can benefit from collections held by institutions far from their communities. More

Entrepreneur's annual 100 Brilliant Ideas
Entrepreneur    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A bold concept perfectly in sync with the moment: It's what great companies are built on. It's what shapes the future. It's entrepreneurship at its best. Where can you find that kind of thinking now? Entrepreneur looked at 10 areas that are growing fast — from mobile technology and outsourcing to fitness and pets — and found 10 companies in each that bring jaw-dropping ingenuity to the table. ♦ No museums on the list, but at least a few of these ideas will inspire museum innovations. More

Art that makes a public spectacle of itself
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's been a striking upswing in the production of public art in Los Angeles in recent years. The shift reflects the emergence of a relatively new institutional player, one that's set to fill the gap between aging models of public art and L.A.'s contemporary art scene: The independent public art nonprofit. Unencumbered by the obligations of a city agency, the commercial demands of a gallery or the institutional identity of a museum, these organizations have managed to carve promising inroads into the jungle of the city's public sphere, mounting projects — mostly temporary — of an exceedingly varied nature, from billboards to sculpture to guerilla performance. More

Creating a better future through art
Israel21c    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Doron Polak pairs the works of Jewish and Arab Israeli artists and takes them on the road in international seminars for schoolchildren and adults. But Polak's work presenting Israeli art to the rest of the world goes way beyond promoting individual artists. "Anytime I organize an exhibit I do so with a social action goal in mind," he tells ISRAEL21c. A 56 year old, Polak is a curator and art producer who has organized more than 50 overseas exhibits of Israeli artists at places like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Venice Biennale and the National Museum in Mexico. More

Poland's National Museum champions gay rights
The Art Newspaper    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Museum in Warsaw aims to chip away at prejudices against sexual minorities in Poland with an exhibition about homoeroticism in art. "Ars Homo Erotica," which runs June 11-Sept. 5, has already met with criticism and threats of demonstrations. "The situation in Poland is sensitive as a result of the plane crash in Smolensk," said exhibition curator Pawel Leszkowicz, referring to the event in April in which President Lech Kaczynski was killed. "The patriotic atmosphere that has pervaded the country has increased the power of right-wing groups. Therefore, I am not certain what will happen when the exhibition opens." More

Tools for the Future

Raspberries, pears and chocolate: A fresh understanding of the bee crisis
Worldchanging    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You may already know about the global pollinator crisis. Over the past 50 years, the number of domestic honeybee colonies in the U.S. has dropped by more than half. At the same time, wild pollinators have been disappearing. No one has seen a Franklin bumblebee (native to Oregon and California) since 2006 or a rusty-patched bumblebee (once common in New York) since 2005. As if this were not enough, beekeepers began telling stories about something utterly strange: Sterile worker bees were abandoning hives, leaving their queens and pupae behind to die. The media picked up the story, and it quickly embedded itself in the public consciousness — and in the scientific community. ♦ Not strictly about museums, but a fine illustration of how hard it is to find the right scale/context in which to evaluate the meaning of a trend. More

Learning Chinese in Mexico: Children prepare for the future
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Alberto and Maribel, sixth-graders at the Pedro Garcia Rojas elementary school here in central Mexico, introduce themselves to each other in Mandarin Chinese. Their class also recites numbers, clothing items and weather conditions in a language that, to them, is about as foreign as it gets. More

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